The European Union has signed a procurement deal with Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) for its COVID-19 drug. The EU will pay the company $1.2 billion for a six-month supply of the antiviral drug remdesivir before the publication of the results from the trial on the COVID-19 medication.
Gilead signs procurement agreement with EU states
The joint procurement agreement involves countries in the EU, the UK, the European Economic Area, and six other potential countries. Following the deal’s signing, countries taking part will buy remdesivir from Gilead directly for stockpiling and real-time demand. Although the purchase covers six months, there is an option for an extension. Currently, remdesivir is the only drug in the European Union that holds conditional marketing authorization for COVID-19 patients requiring oxygen supplement.
The marketing authorization is based on ACTT-1 trial results which showed the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in COVID-19 patients with pneumonia needing supplemental oxygen. The submission was also backed with results from previous randomized trials demonstrating the safety and efficacy of the medication in five-day as well as ten-day dosing durations.
Gilead’s deal was signed amid a shortage in the European Union, which hastened the decision before final results on the effectiveness of remdesivir and potential toxicity are determined. The 27 EU member states and the UK will order around 500,000 courses of remdesivir in the next six months.
Every remdesivir treatment course to cost $2,440
Gilead said that the price for each treatment cycle will be $2,440. Even though there is a big contrast with the smaller deal agreed in July, the price per treatment course is in line with what the EU countries paid to treat 30,000 people with a six-dose treatment course given in five days. The drugmaker said that the rate was the same as that given for rich countries.
According to the agreement, the countries will make Gilead payments as per the contract after purchasing doses. The agreement came before the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity Trial, which is the largest for COVID-19 treatment.